It is time for some more Monday Morning Bracketology. Here is my projected bracket through games of February 2, plus some notes on this week’s field:
(1) Syracuse vs (16) Davidson/Robert Morris
(8) Minnesota vs (9) George Washington
(5) Ohio State vs (12) Tennessee
(4) Saint Louis vs (13) Stephen F. Austin
(6) Massachusetts vs (11) SMU
(3) Iowa vs (14) Georgia State
(7) Pittsburgh vs (10) Arizona State
(2) Villanova vs (15) American
(1) Wichita State vs (16) Southern/Coastal Carolina
(8) Memphis vs (9) Xavier
(5) Iowa State vs (12) Colorado/Indiana
(4) Cincinnati vs (13) Ohio
(6) Oklahoma State vs (11) Southern Miss
(3) Creighton vs (14) UC-Santa Barbara
(7) North Carolina vs (10) Providence
(2) Michigan State vs (15) Quinnipiac
(1) Arizona vs (16) Weber State
(8) Gonzaga vs (9) New Mexico
(5) Wisconsin vs (12) Stanford/Missouri
(4) Texas vs (13) North Dakota State
(6) Connecticut vs (11) Florida State
(3) Duke vs (14) Delaware
(7) UCLA vs (10) Baylor
(2) San Diego State vs (15) North Carolina Central
(1) Florida vs (16) Stony Brook
(8) Kansas State vs (9) VCU
(5) Kentucky vs (12) Harvard
(4) Virginia vs (13) Mercer
(6) Oklahoma vs (11) Green Bay
(3) Michigan vs (14) New Mexico State
(7) Louisville vs (10) California
(2) Kansas vs (15) Belmont
National Semifinals: East vs Midwest, West vs South
Last four in: Stanford, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana
First four out: LSU, Richmond, Oregon, Dayton
Others considered: St. Joseph’s, Clemson, North Carolina State, Georgetown, Marquette, Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, BYU
A few notes about this week’s bracket:
The Big 12 and Big Ten lead the way with 7 bids each, followed by the ACC and Pac 12 with 6 teams apiece. The American has 5, the A-10, Big East and SEC each have 4, and the Mountain West checks in as the only other multi-big league with 2.
There are lots of changes at the top of the bracket after this wild weekend, resulting in the Florida Gators taking the biggest jump, all the way to the #3 overall seed after they pounded Texas A&M. The fourth 1 seed seems to be wide open, but at the moment I believe the committee would take an undefeated Wichita State team over the likes of Kansas, San Diego State, Villanova, Michigan State or Creighton.
While my field does have six Pac 12 teams in, only Arizona and UCLA are in safely. California looks to be in decent shape after knocking off Arizona on Saturday, but they need to keep winning. Arizona State, Stanford, and Colorado are all among the last teams that made it in.
Florida State continues to tumble down the bracket, moving from a solid single digit seed just a couple of weeks ago all the way down to an 11 seed this week. If the Seminoles cannot pick things up soon, they may not be in the bracket at all next week.
Indiana snuck into the very last spot in my bracket after their huge win over Michigan on Sunday, knocking LSU down to the First Four out. LSU has been playing pretty good recently and if they can have a solid week, odds are they will find a way in next time. Oregon also appears to be ready to break out of its slump, but they are on the outside looking in at the moment.
Among the single bid teams, there are a few changes this week as well. Ohio U takes over the lead in the MAC and is now my pick for that league’s lone bid. Toledo’s extremely weak non-conference schedule has resulted in them not even being on my Under Consideration board. Stephen F Austin is building a gaudy record against weak opposition and is now the highest rated team after the First Four at-large teams. Finally, I am continuing to watch Georgia State. This is a very good and dangerous Panthers team that is quickly rising up my board. While they are not going to be at-large worthy if they stumble in the Sun Belt tournament, if they do get the league’s bid, whoever they draw better watch out (right now I have that as Iowa).